July 1, 2023

A Letter to Parents About Engaging on Campus

Dear Goucher Parents, Families, and Friends,

Hello from a quiet campus as we rest and rejuvenate for the fall semester. We hope your student is doing the same and is as excited to be back at Goucher in August as we are to welcome them.

There are many reasons we encourage students to get involved in the life of the campus. Engaging in campus life outside of the classroom is a great way to make the campus feel more familiar. Sometimes students come to campus with a built-in community, for example, as a member of a sports team, or return to campus in elevated positions of leadership, like serving as a Residential Assistant or Goucher Guide. However, sometimes students are looking for or need an outlet that speaks to who they are and what their interests might be in that moment.

There is a myriad of ways to engage in campus life, especially considering your student’s varied and unique interests. In our experience (and supported by research), meaningful involvement, in concert with one’s academic pursuits, provides students with a holistic and fruitful college experience. Encourage your student to mark their calendar now for August 30 & 31 for the annual Student Involvement Fair in the Athenaeum.

Here are some of the benefits when students get involved in campus activities:

Find their people. By taking the chance to get involved, or regularly attending campus events, students have the chance to meet others with interesting perspectives, diverse backgrounds, and common interests. We encourage students to meet others through different means, such as attending their residence hall programming, going to Student Engagement Team events, or joining a student organization. For our commuting students, we offer an advocacy group and space on campus (first floor, Athenaeum); all the student needs to do is contact ose@goucher.edu.

Learn more about themselves. Parents and families can help a student discover their interests, selves, and needs by simply being a listening ear and a cheerleader for new experiences. Goucher offers many ways for a student to learn more about themselves as they grow through their college experience. Interested or curious students can learn more through one of the many affinity programs or groups offered through the Center for Race, Equity, and Identity (CREI).

Manage their time and stay organized. Through engaging in campus life, students learn how to be better organized and more efficient due to the additional demands on their time. We do highly encourage students to think critically about how much involvement is too much and how to balance extra activities with coursework or other requirements of their Goucher experience. In addition, first-year students learn more about realistically managing their time during their FYE 134 course, and for all students, the Academic Excellence Center (ACE) offers time management resources.

Improve abilities, practice skills, and build up their resume. Participating in campus activities provides students the chance to develop and build upon personal skills through practice and leadership, as well as the opportunity to discover a hidden talent! Student Government Association at Goucher College is a tremendously helpful opportunity for students. Through meeting with campus officials on topics important to students, giving a report each week to the general body, and making informed decisions on behalf of peers, student senators and cabinet members acquire skills and have experiences to add to a resume that are strong demonstrations of the skills employers seek.

Manage stress in a positive way. Through their involvement, which should be at a level that is manageable to their own schedule and comfort, students organically create outlets to channel the stress that comes with college and life in transition. We encourage students to manage their stress in different ways, such as attending programming offered by the Student Health Center, Student Counseling Center, and the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, joining a GoucherMOVES class, or taking time to work out in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center (SRC).

Meaningfully engaged students know that education happens both inside and outside of a traditional classroom and campus activities come in a variety of forms. They also know that they cannot do everything, but they will do well with the activities they intentionally and thoughtfully choose because they’re committed to their experience here. We highly encourage students to be engaged with campus in ways that best fit who they are and that are based on their comfort and interest.

For more information on student engagement, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Engagement (ose@goucher.edu) as a starting point. We are more than happy to connect students with whatever their interest might be!


Office of Student Engagement